Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

If You Lived When Women Won Their Rights

Author:   Anne Kamma
Illustrator:  Pamela Johnson
Grade: 2nd – 5th (Ages 7-10)
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Summary:  The If You book series transports children to a different time and place, and asks them, “What if you were there?” In If You Lived When Women Won Their Rights, children explore what life was like for women and girls during a time in which they could not wear pants, ride bicycles, or go to college. Children get a glimpse of what life was like for women before they had certain rights and the struggle they experienced to gain equal rights.

Element III – Issues of Social Injustice:  This book is a great introduction to Women’s Suffrage Movement and gender equality in the United States. I love that this book follows the development of women’s rights from the Revolution to 1920. It highlights women’s roles and contributions to society way before, during and after the movement. It highlights key men and women, and addresses questions that children would have about the topic. This book is a great way to initiate discussions about gender roles, feminism, and more importantly, empowerment.

Activity:  This book would complement an activity in which students engage in a debate for and against women’s rights. In groups, students would have the opportunity to independently research and find evidence that will support the side of the argument they were assigned. This would expose students to the different perspectives that surrounded the movement and affect gender equality even today.

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